S3 Compatible Storage

S3 compatibility is a hard requirement for cloud-native applications. MinIO is unyielding in its adherence to the API and with tens of thousands of users - both commercial and community - MinIO’s S3 implementation is the most widely tested and implemented alternative to AWS S3 in the world.

MinIO and the S3 API – Made for Multi-Cloud Storage

MinIO established itself as the standard for AWS S3 compatibility from its inception. One of the earliest adopters of the S3 API (both V2 and V4) and one of the only storage companies to focus exclusively on S3, MinIO’s massive community ensures that no other AWS alternative is more compatible.

The S3 API is the de facto standard in the cloud and, as a result, alternatives to AWS must speak the API fluently to function and interoperate across diverse environments - public cloud, private cloud, datacenter, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud and at the edge.

S3 Compatibility for Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Computing

What is S3 Compatible Storage?

S3 compatible storage refers to a storage solution that uses the S3 API for data management and access. By strictly following the AWS S3 API it allows for the storage of data as objects within buckets, which are containers for these objects, each identified by a unique key. This approach to storage is ideal for unstructured data, such as video, email, files, and backups, and is designed to be scalable, secure, and cost-effective. Systems, devices, and applications that use the S3 API can easily connect with S3-compatible storage, regardless of their location. It is important to assess the validity of the S3 compatibility claim.

Implementation of a subset of S3 API calls will result in failure. The storage system should support the complete set of API calls.

Using the S3 API is the key to a successful multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategy. As the RESTful API standard, S3 has revolutionized the interaction between applications, data and infrastructure. Further, the twin forces of containerization and orchestration with Kubernetes are also built around a RESTful API, relegating the POSIX API to legacy status.

The result is that Kubernetes-native, S3 compatible object storage and applications can run anywhere - from the various public cloud instances (MinIO has nearly 1M deployments across Google, Azure and AWS) to the private cloud (Red Hat OpenShift, VMware Tanzu), to baremetal. By leveraging sophisticated, S3 API powered Lifecycle Management techniques, enterprises can execute operationally optimized instances across clouds and on-prem instances.

S3 Compatible Storage for Bare Metal Workloads

S3 Compatible Storage for Bare Metal Workloads

The private cloud is a fundamental building block of any hybrid-cloud architecture. That means, like the public cloud, S3 compatibility is critical - no matter what the application - from analytics to artifactory to archival.

With MinIO, S3 compatibility is completely independent of location. That means that bare metal, on-premises instances of MinIO have the exact same S3 compatibility and performance as public cloud instances or even edge instances.

The AWS S3 API and Storage with MinIO

Cloud-native applications use the S3 API to communicate with object storage. But not all S3 compatibility is the same - many object storage vendors support a small fraction of overall functionality - and this causes applications to fail. Others claim comprehensive coverage but their proprietary software or appliance models limit that claim considerably as a small fraction of applications, hardware and software are tested.

MinIO is unique in its ability to support its claim of S3 compatibility. With tens of thousands of customers and open source users, our S3 API compatibility is the most widely tested and implemented in the world - covering millions of combinations of hardware, software and applications. MinIO releases software weekly and any shortcoming to the S3 API is immediately reported by the community and rectified by MinIO.

Rumor has it that even Amazon tests third party S3 compatibility using MinIO.

The most comprehensive support for the S3 API means that applications can leverage data stored in MinIO on any hardware, at any location and on any cloud. Developers are free to innovate and iterate, safe in the knowledge that MinIO will never break a release.

S3 Select

S3 Select

S3 Select depends on performance at scale for complex queries and MinIO performance characteristics enable full use of the API. MinIO leverages SIMD instruction sets to optimize performance at the chip level and can run large, complex S3 Select queries on CSV, Parquet, JSON and more.
S3 Select Compatible
AWS Signature V4

AWS Signature V4

Applications and clients must authenticate to access any MinIO administrative API. MinIO was the first to support AWS Signature Version 4 (with support for the deprecated Signature Version 2). After authentication, MinIO authorizes operations using policy based access control that is compatible with AWS IAM policy syntax, structure and behavior.
Compatibility with AWS Signature V4

The Benefits of S3 Compatible Storage

The S3 API has effectively replaced POSIX for most modern workloads. The primary reason is that the S3 API is RESTful, simple and does not have the “chattiness” that keeps POSIX from working effectively in a distributed environment. There are several key benefits of S3 compatible storage:


MinIO is designed to be fully compatible with the Amazon S3 API, which means it supports the same API constructs for storage and identity management. This compatibility ensures that applications built for Amazon S3 can seamlessly migrate to MinIO without any code changes, making it easier for users to switch storage solutions while maintaining their existing workflows.


The S3 API does not demand particular compute, drive or networking and will operate effectively on commodity hardware. This can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership compared to traditional storage solutions or even other cloud storage services.


Properly configured, S3 compatible storage can be optimized for ultra-high performance workloads by leveraging modern hardware like multi-core processors and high-speed networking to achieve low-latency and high-throughput data access. This makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, including AI/ML workloads, data lakes, and high-performance computing environments.


S3 compatible object storage like MinIO supports a distributed architecture that allows it to scale horizontally across multiple nodes. This scalability ensures that MinIO can handle exascale data volumes and high traffic loads without compromising performance. It can be deployed in a distributed mode, enabling data to be spread across multiple nodes for improved performance and fault tolerance.

MinIO and S3 Object Storage Use Cases

MinIO is the world’s fastest object store. That, coupled with its S3 compatibility ensures that it can run the broadest set of use cases in the industry. This includes modern application workloads like GitHub and GitLab for code repositories, modern analytics workloads like database storage for MongoDB, Clickhouse, MariaDB, CockroachDB, and Teradata to traditional archival, backup and disaster recovery use cases.

MinIO's performance characteristics, combined with its S3 compatibility have made it the standard for AI/ML and data science workloads. Tools like KubeFlow and TensorFlow require high-performance S3 compatible object storage and are increasingly designed for MinIO first and AWS or other clouds second. MinIO provides applications with true multi-cloud object storage and efficient replication. Applications written for the S3 API can run anywhere, giving developers the ability to rapidly innovate wherever the best cloud tooling is available.

The Cost of S3 Compatible Storage

The Cloud Operating Model isn’t a place, it is a set of principles that operate independent of place. Public cloud, private cloud or edge. S3 is a core part of the cloud operating model. MinIO’s support of S3 ensures your application can speak it, no matter where the data resides. Public cloud, private cloud, colo or edge. Because of this, the enterprise can optimize for whatever it wants. If cost is that optimization, enterprises can save 60% or more over AWS - with better performance, enhanced security and zero lock-in.

Learn more about S3 Compatibility

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